A court in Himachal Pradesh today extended till October 3 the judicial custody of eight police officers, including an IG rank officer, in connection with the custodial death of an accused in the rape-and-murder case of a minor in Kotkhai on July 4.
Inspector General of Police Z H Zaidi, Deputy Superintendent of Police Manoj Joshi and six other police officers were arrested by the CBI on July 29 and remanded to police custody till September 4 for the death of Suraj in police custody. Their police remand was first extended till September 7, and then they were sent to judicial custody till September 20. A local court today further extended their custody by two weeks.
Except for Zaidi, who has been admitted to the Indira Gandhi Medical College in Shimla since September 13 after he complained of chest pain, all the seven others accused in the case were produced before the court today via a video link. The seven officers have been lodged in Kanda jail, nearly 16 kilometres from Shimla. Zaidi was heading a Special Investigation Team (SIT) which investigated the rape and murder of the minor in Kotkhai on July 4, whose body was found two days later . The case later came to be known as “Gudiya” rape-and-murder case.
Zaidi had arrested six people in the case, but one of the accused – Suraj – died in police custody. The police initially claimed Raju – another accused in the case – killed Suraj. But when the High Court on July 19 handed over the case to CBI, the agency arrested Zaidi and seven other police officers on July 29. The CBI is set to submit a fresh progress report on the case in the High Court on Thursday.